Historical information

This iron was used by women to press the clothes from the mid 19th century. Coal embers were put inside, heating the base of the iron. Small bellows could be used to fire up the embers in order to keep the iron hot.


This item is significant as it represents the appliances used by women from the mid 19th century until the advent of electricity.

Physical description

This charcoal iron is made of cast iron. It has a hinged lid so that embers can be put inside as the source of heat. The lid has a curved funnel and a wooden handle. The funnel kept the smoke away from the clothing. Bellows would be used to blow air into the iron and keep the coals burning. It has a wooden handle and the lever used to open the lid is also made from wood. There is a hole with a swivel cover at the back of the iron to check the coals.

Inscriptions & markings

"S" on the swivel cover.